Awards

Honors and Awards

For most awards, please visit Awards Central, the Boy Scouts of America’s repository for information about official awards and recognition. This is where the most up-to-date information about BSA-related awards may be found, including award applications and nomination forms. Additional awards, such as the Meritorious Service Star, Distinguished Service Star, and Silver Bear have additional information below.

Click here for an online version of the Guide to Awards and Insignia, No. 614937. This resource is available for purchase from ScoutShop.org  or through your local Scout Shop!


Eric Hiser
Council Recognition Chair
EHiser.BSA@gmail.com

Council Honors

The Grand Canyon Council honors volunteer Scouters who provide exceptional service and leadership to youth and Scouting.  The District Award of Merit is awarded for service to youth at the district level.  The Meritorious Service Star is awarded for service to Scouting at the district or council level.  The Silver Beaver, a National honor, is awarded for exceptional service to youth at the council level.  The Distinguished Service Star is awarded for distinguished service to Scouting, typically to individuals who had previously received their Silver Beaver.  The North Star is awarded to non-Scouters for distinguished service to youth at the council level.

Nominations for these council honors are open until  mid-October of each year.  Additional information for these three awards is available here and the on-line nomination process appear below.  Please do not notify a nominee of a nomination to avoid disappointment should the award not be granted.  

MSS BRIGHTER

Meritorious
Service Star

Awarded for outstanding Council, district, or unit service for more than five years.

The Meritorious Service Star, created in 2016 by the Grand Canyon Council, is a council award presented in the same manner that Silver Beaver is a national award presented by councils. The award is available to Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the council, district or unit level over a period of least five years. It usually precedes the Silver Beaver and follows the District Award of Merit. The award is made available annually on the basis of 1 for each 40 traditional units or fraction thereof. The council need not present all the awards to which it is entitled each year.

Click here for a worksheet that will detail all the nominee’s information you will need to gather for your nomination.

beaver-display

The Silver Beaver



Awarded to Scouters who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service at the Council level.

The Silver Beaver was introduced in 1931 and is a national award presented by councils. The award is available to registered Scouters 21 years of age and older who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given at the council level. The award is available annually on the basis of 1 for each 60 units or fraction thereof. Councils not using their full allotment in any year may accumulate the unused portion for use in any subsequent year.

Click here for a worksheet that will detail all the nominee’s information you will need to gather for your nomination.

DSS BRIGHTER

Distinguished Service Star

Awarded for outstanding Council, district, or unit service for more than fifteen years.

The Distinguished Service Star, created in 2016 by the Grand Canyon Council, is a lifetime achievement award presented in the same manner that Silver Beaver is a national award presented by councils. The award is available to Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the council, district or unit level over a period of at least 15 years, and is most often awarded to Silver Beaver or Meritorious Service Star recipients who have continued to give distinguished service. The award is made available annually on the basis of 1 for each 250 traditional units or fraction thereof. The council need not present all the awards to which it is entitled each year.

Click here for a worksheet that will detail all the nominee’s information you will need to gather for your nomination.

Square Knots Honors and Recognitions

Most awards and recognitions have certificates, pins or medals, and a patch usually with a square knot embroidered on it in different colors.  Adult leaders and Scouts wear these square knot patches on their uniform over the left pocket.  The order that they are worn is up to the individual.  To learn more see the Guide to Awards and Insignia.

Achievement Awards - Youth recognitions

Achievement awards are recognitions earned by youth for accomplishments in Scouting.

Knot Award Program Description

Cub Scouts
Awarded to Cub Scouts upon earning their Arrow of Light.

Scouts, B.S.A.
Awarded to Scouts upon earning the Eagle Scout rank.

Venturing
The Summit Award represents Venturing’s highest honor.

Sea Scouts
The highest award for Sea Scouts.

All programs
To encourage members to grow stronger in their faith, religious groups have developed religious emblems programs.
Bravery Awards
Knot Award Description

The Honor Medal may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save life at considerable risk to self

The Heroism Award may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save life at minimal personal risk to self.

 

The Medal of Merit may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has performed an act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the wellbeing of others.
Leadership and Training Awards

Leadership and Training Awards recognize an adult Scouter’s efforts to complete required training and serve youth directly.  A few of the more commonly given awards are presented here.  Others may be found at Awards Central and US Scouts.

Knot Award Description

Complete one year as a registered den leader in the position selected. Tiger Cub den leader’s tenure can be the program year as long as it is greater than eight months.

The training awards are designed to recognize unit Scouters for tenure, training, and performance in their leadership roles. Available for all programs.

The keys are designed to recognize unit Scouters for tenure, training, and performance in their leadership roles.

A quality Scouting experience will help keep Scouts in the program, and the Boy Scouts of America created the Unit Leader Award of Merit to recognize the quality unit leaders who make that happen.

Completion of a program leading to the award of the Doctorate of Commissioner Science from a College of Commissioner Science.

Five years tenure as a Commissioner and other requirements.

Two years tenure as a Commissioner and other requirements covering unit service and improved retention of members.

Attendance at Philmont Training Center (PTC) as a participant at least twice, and other requirements.

Awarded to BSA alumni that promote Scouting.

Worn by adults who received religious awards as an adult.

Available to registered Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the district level.

Worn by those honored for their personal donation of a minimum of $1000 to a local Council Endowment Fund, or honored by others with such a donation

 

Worn by those honored for starting a new unit.

Recognizes Scouts, Explorers and Scouters for conservation and ecology efforts in their communities. Find out more with our Outdoor Ethics Committee.

FAQs

By October 15th of each year.  We recommend starting the nomination process earlier so that you have time to gather any required information.  Please contact Kathy Coleman, the registrar, if you need a Scouter’s training and service record to complete a nomination form.

These awards still require a paper submission.  Go to Awards Central and download the nomination form and submit to council to the attention of Odalys Chavez.  Some awards must be submitted to National.  Check Awards Central.

For council honors, the decision is made by the council Key 3 based upon recommendations of a volunteer honors and awards committee, which scores nominations objectively.  The districts follow a similar procedure for district awards.  Other awards have specific processes that are usually described in Awards Central.

Council and district honors and some awards are presented at their annual recognition event, which are usually in or around February of each year.  Other awards may be presented at special events, round tables, or at the unit as is most appropriate. 

Please email the Awards Registrar or Recognition Chair listed above.